Supporting emerging composers is a crucial part of Psappha’s work. Each year we will designate a commission from an emerging composer as the Peter Maxwell Davies Commission.
Peter Maxwell Davies (‘Max’) was Psappha’s Patron for more than 20 years and was a staunch supporter of the ensemble. This commission in Max’s name acknowledges the contribution he made to British music and the support he gave to many hundreds if not thousands of composers and musicians during his lifetime. For 2020-21 the Peter Maxwell Davies Commission will be by Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade. Collaborating with award-winning sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun, Ninfea will create a work for sitar, string quintet, piano, and percussion. Psappha will support the commission with two workshops and the project has led to a grant from the PRS Composers’ Fund that will enable Ninfea to acquire hands-on experience playing the sitar through private studies with Jasdeep.
Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade is a composer and cellist based in Edinburgh. Composing for old, new, and damaged musical instruments, her past projects have included works for symphony orchestra, viols and theorbo, string and percussion quartets, a homemade glass harmonica, the Princeton University carillon, and a fire-damaged piano. Currently a composer-in-residence at Glyndebourne (2019-22), Ninfea has also participated in the the 2019-20 LSO Panufnik Scheme and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s 2018-19 Composers’ Hub. She was a recipient of the UK’s Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize (2015) and a composition fellowship from the Tanglewood Music Center (2017), and later received a commission to write Table Talk – a large ensemble brass work – for the 2018 Tanglewood Music Festival. 2020 sees the continued circulation of her work in the United States, including performances of Three études for piano and flower pots (2019) by members of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles.